Final grades: Green Bay Packers rookie class

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Datone Jones: First round pick – C+

Datone Jones
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports photograph

For a first-rounder, I think that fans were hoping to see instant results out of Jones. He didn’t come in and make a difference right away like everyone was hoping.

However, he was scouted as a guy that would need a little bit of work at defensive end in the Packers scheme, and started coming on stronger toward the end of the season. I think the rookie year went as well for Jones as could be expected under the circumstances. His snap count started out mild, but steadily increased as injuries plagued the defensive end and the linebacker corps.

Jones was drafted as a run-stuffer with the agility and burst off the edge to rush the passer. He was especially good at stopping the read-option in college, and was brought in to develop more in that area.

Jones gets a C+ for his rookie season because he didn’t do anything spectacular to start the season. He was still experiencing growing pains up until the end, but he gains respect for being flexible. He became more comfortable in the system and totaled 3.5 sacks overall. With injuries depleting the linebackers, Jones was asked to play out of position for a lot of the playoff loss to San Francisco. He showed resilience and potential to be a foundation piece for the future defensive line.

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  • Kyle Fellows

    You raise an interesting question about Bakhtiari. You mention him as a LT of the future. The plan before the season was to have Bulaga play LT and competition at RT. I am curious to see if the Pack plugs Bulaga back in at RT where he was a top player or tries to complete the move to LT. Would the pack swing David over to RT? I agree that David played well, but i’m nervous about calling it good enough to be Aaron Rodgers long term LT. At the same time, he’s a rookie and many would argue he had a better season than many 1st round offensive tackles.

    • Jamie

      I believe that the Packers “stumbled” upon their LT of the future in Bakhtiari. I agree, at times he made me nervous holding up the blindside. Overall, I think he showed the Packers organization exactly what he needed to: that he has the potential to fill a HUGE need for a LONG time. I am stoked that we got him in the 4th round and that we were able to get as much production out of him as we did this season. Not many rookies come in and are responsible for as much as Bakhtiari was this year. I am truly excited because for the first time in a long time, the Packers are STACKED on the offensive line. I am excitd to see who makes the cut and I can foresee Bakhtiari being right in the mix.

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